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Explicit concepts, tools, and practical strategies for young & mature adults

Practical Social Emotional Learning Resources for Adults

Social emotional learning is cumulative, dynamic, and expected as we shift through different developmental stages across our lives. This developmental learning curve can be steep, and teens are often unprepared for what it really means to be considered an adult when they celebrate their 18th birthdays. For many young adults, it’s an exciting time to test new freedoms, choices, and experiences but also a confusing, largely unsupported time—and many new adults (and their parents!)—are woefully unaware of what awaits them in this brand-new social world where they are fully accountable for the positive and negative consequences of their choices and actions. This includes obeying laws, anticipating how to avoid problems, reading social situations and understanding the unique social expectations for different contexts, communicating effectively, sharing space with others, fostering and maintaining meaningful relationships, and much more. It’s a tall order if this learning isn’t intuitive!

 

Life Beyond the Bell Schedule—Why We Teach Social Emotional Learning to Adults, Regardless of Age

Starting at 18 years old, it’s expected for teens to transition into the mindset of living as an independent adult, yet their brains are not fully formed until they are in their late 20s. There is so much for individuals to learn on many fronts, including but not limited to relationship development (including sexual relations), executive functioning, financial management, and organized thinking. And this learning continues to evolve in complexity and sophistication throughout our adult lives.

 

All adults, regardless of age, are expected to be able to learn strategies to continue to better manage their time, budget, mental health, and personal hygiene and care, as well as prioritize what needs to be done based on their coursework or job. They are also expected to be able to ask for help as needed; and because they’re adults, others are not as eager or able to anticipate their needs. As adults, they can refuse assistance and advice given by loved ones, mentors, friends, or teachers. By the same token, those who have financially, academically, and/or emotionally assisted them in the past can also now refuse.

 

Throughout our 25+ years of research, practice, and teaching, we’ve focused on the needs of young and mature adults and have found that when these social learners are presented with relevant and explicit concepts, tools, and practical strategies to make sense of evolving expectations within the social world, they can continue to learn to improve their social emotional problem solving. They’re able to gradually gain social competencies that help them, step by step, achieve their own social goals as they learn to navigate the complexities of the adult social emotional world.

 

The Social Thinking Methodology offers a diverse array of research-informed resources, training workshops, practical strategies, and visual tools specifically for young and mature adults, Neurodivergent and neurotypical. These materials deeply explore social and emotional awareness and self-regulation; communication and relationship development; executive functioning and organization skills; anxiety management, and other social competencies to make each element visible, understandable, and doable.

 

Explore our broad range of products, online courses, and free resources for teaching practical concepts, vocabulary, and strategies to help guide social learners in some of the most significant learning of their lives.

Best-Selling Products to Become a Stronger Social Observer & Increase Social Competencies

Free Stuff—Learn Essential Social Thinking Concepts for Free

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Free 12 Minute Aha! Teaching Moment

Telling individuals with compelling social anxiety that others are having thoughts about them might lead to more anxiety. In this video, Michelle Garcia Winner explains how she helped her 15-year-old client manage his social anxiety by focusing on the impressions he forms of peers, rather than on the impressions peers may be forming of him.

 

Click the play button on the left to start watching this free video. You can also scroll below to access additional resources relating to this video and topic.

Free Webinar

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How to Use Social Thinking to Teach Ages 19-80

In this free webinar, Michelle Garcia Winner, the founder of Social Thinking, discusses concepts and strategies to help adults with subtle but significant social learning differences and/or challenges.


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On Demand Courses—Practical Strategies You Can Use Right Now

Strategies for Adults

Strategies for Adults with Subtle but Significant Social Emotional Learning Differences and/or Challenges

Key Topics: social emotional learning, executive functions, anxiety management

Most of our mature adult clients have never received any type of socially oriented teaching in the past – yet they’re overwhelmed with frustration or anxiety due to a history of compelling social learning differences and/or challenges that have impacted relationship development, both at work and in their personal lives. Some receive late diagnoses of Autism or ADHD, while others may have mental health diagnoses. Few are aware of basic and advanced frameworks and strategies to better understand how the social world works to navigate within it. This course is packed with practical and useful information!
Expires
Replay access through March 31, 2023
3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
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Social Life Skills

5 Critical Life Skills for Tweens, Teens and Young Adults

That Often Remain Untaught

Tweens, teens, and young adults are expected to naturally develop social and organizational competencies needed in school and across their lives. However, students with social learning and organized thinking differences (e.g., ADHD, twice exceptional, expressive receptive language, sensory processing, autism spectrum levels 1 and 2, etc.) may not intuitively learn these concepts and skills. This course will explore 5 critical life skills related to social emotional learning and organized thinking that can and should be directly addressed and taught to students & clients ages 11-22 in our homes, schools, and clinics. We’ll also review a variety of explicit metacognitive frameworks and practical strategies for teaching and learning these critical social competencies.
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Replay access through March 31, 2023
2 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
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Brand New Course

What’s Alexithymia? and How Does It Affect Emotional Regulation and Awareness?

Understanding One’s Feelings to Foster Emotional Regulation at School & Home

What is alexithymia? It refers to challenges in developing awareness of one’s feelings, identifying, and distinguishing them from other physical sensations—and it’s gaining interest in the research, schools, and clinical arenas. Educators and parents have reported an increase in overall “regulation” challenges in the classroom, on the playground, and during small group activities. We’ll highlight select key aspects of emotional awareness and regulation and its role in perspective taking. Specifically, we’ll explore how alexithymia can impact the building blocks for spontaneous perspective taking across all contexts. We will suggest practical strategies to increase awareness of feelings within the perspective-taking process to use within the classroom, school, community, and home.
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Brand new course! Replay access through March 31, 2023
1.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
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Friendship & Relationship Development

Flirting, Dating & Maintaining Relationships: How Do You Teach This?

In this course, we will address a range of topics including but not limited to culture, religion, pornography and the law, and emerging sexuality for neurodivergent social learners—especially those on the autism spectrum. We will show practical lessons developed with input from neurodivergent clients and students with different social learning styles as they established their own social relationship goals.
Expires
Replay access through March 31, 2023
3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
Get Recording
All About Emotions

Part 1: Helping Students Gain Perspective on Their Emotions

Series Name: The Power of Emotions: Strategies to Fuel Self-Regulation, Learning, and Communication

In this first part of a four-part series, we explore how our emotions are central to our social competencies, executive functions, and self-regulation. Emotions are our brain’s powerhouse; they can help fuel motivation or derail us. We investigate how negative emotions are processed differently than positive emotions and how emotions are the cornerstone of each person's memories, both good and not so great. Learn strategies to help students unpack their daily emotional experiences.

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Replay access through March 31, 2023
3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
Get Recording
All About Emotions

Part 2: Learning about Shame, Pride, and Pathways toward Social Emotional Self-Regulation

Series Name: The Power of Emotions: Strategies to Fuel Self-Regulation, Learning, and Communication

In this second part of a four-part series, we explore the special role of self-conscious emotions, such as pride and shame. We explore how to help social learners take command of their brain by learning metacognitive strategies to foster development of social competencies and motivation to build and sustain relationships. A case study illustrates how we worked with a teen to develop the desire and strategies to make friends while he actively boasted “I am the most hated kid in school, and I love it!”

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Replay access through March 31, 2023
3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
Get Recording
All About Emotions

Part 3: Emotions Guide Meaning Making and Language to Relate

Series Name: The Power of Emotions: Strategies to Fuel Self-Regulation, Learning, and Communication

This third part of our four-part series on the power of emotions explores how emotions are embedded within academic standards. Social emotional navigation is a crucial ingredient for teamwork, both in school and in the 21st-century workforce. Practical strategies about perspective taking accompany the social investigation into how each child, student or client reads each other’s intentions, what each individual wants from the other as they relate, and how collectively, individuals sync their emotions as part of our narrative language. This is a fascinating day! As you learn to help the individuals you live or work with, you will also learn a lot about yourself.
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Replay access through March 31, 2023
3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
Get Recording
All About Emotions

Part 4: Learning to Manage One’s Anxieties while Developing Social Competencies

Series Name: The Power of Emotions: Strategies to Fuel Self-Regulation, Learning, and Communication

In this fourth of our four-part series, we spotlight the Social Operating Systems: exploring the power of one’s inner voice, developing awareness and management of one’s own social anxiety, and differentiating between social success and “failure,” while also learning, step by step, how to relate to peers. We demystify the power of small talk and show how to encourage an individual’s motivation by validating their progress to help them manage their vulnerabilities. The course is packed with practical strategies!
Expires
Replay access through March 31, 2023
3.5 hours toward CE credit, if applicable
Get Recording

What is Social Thinking?

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Strategies to Build Social Competencies

The Social Thinking Methodology provides evidence-based strategies to help people ages four through adult develop their social competencies, flexible thinking & social problem solving and improve:



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